02 September 2008

Hanjin launches second Subic-made ship

South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) launched on Saturday, August 30, the second container vessel to be made in this free port — just over a month after it delivered the first ship order, the MV Argolikos, to its Greek owner on July 4.

The vessel, which is also a 4,300-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) container ship, was towed from Hanjin’s Drydock 5 to the shipyard’s quayside where it will sit for three months as electrical systems and other facilities are installed prior to its sea trial.
The ship, which has a market value of about $60 million, will be called the CMA CGM Turquoise.
It will also be delivered to the Dioryx Maritime Corp., a Greek shipping company that bought MV Argolikos.

According to HHIC-Phil officials, productivity in the Hanjin shipyard here is fast catching up with South Korea’s.

“Filipinos learn fast— now they are experts,” said Hanjin quality assurance director Yoonha Kim.

He said that Filipino workers displayed “world-class efficiency” when hull construction and engine installation for the Turquoise was undertaken within the standard Hanjin timetable of 13 months.

Kim added the completion of the second vessel showed the increased efficiency and technical know-how of Filipino workers when compared to the construction of the MV Argolikos, which took 14 months.

“Our goal is to be at par with our South Korean counterparts in terms of efficiency and quality of work,” Kim said during the launching that was witnessed by other Hanjin officials, representatives of Dioryx, and the Paris-based conformity assessment, certification, inspection and testing firm Bureau Veritas.

The skills of Filipino workers at Hanjin’s shipyard here was earlier praised by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she called the Argolikos “a showcase of excellence for Filipino ship workers” during the ship’s formal naming ceremony last July.

Arroyo also said that the $1.7-billion Hanjin shipyard here is “a massive boost” to the country’s bid to be the best value for investment in Asia, with projected jobs expected to reach 21,000 during full operations.

Meanwhile, Capt. Thanos Gonis of Dioryx expressed satisfaction with Hanjin’s work, saying they have not experienced any problem with MV Argolikos, which has just finished its first round trip under the chartering of CMA CGM, the biggest container transportation and shipping company in France.

“We’re still waiting up to project No. 6,” said Gonis, whose firm has ordered from Hanjin six container vessels, each with a capacity of 4,300 TEUs, a gross weight of 41,000 tons, and measuring 258.9 meters in length, 19 meters high, and 32 meters wide.

Aside from container vessels, Hanjin would start building oil tankers and bulk carriers next year, Kim also announced. (SBMA Corporate Communications)